With backyards getting smaller and self-sustainable gardens building popularity, raised garden beds are really gaining ground (literally and figuratively!) in the Aussie backyard.
There are good reasons why. Raising your garden improves soil drainage and temperature, limits erosion, and gives you much easier access to tend to your plants (a massive bonus if you’re uprooting your home-grown veggies!).
There are some pretty standard – but no less beautiful – raised garden bed designs out there (including these from Birdies), incorporating rock, brick, concrete, or rot-resistant lumber.
But here a few of the more unique DIY garden bed ideas you can try in your backyard:
1. Animal Troughs
A cheap and easy alternative to the generic raised garden bed materials is a galvanised steel trough designed for farm animals.
It may already have drainage options; otherwise drill a few holes in the bottom before filling it with soil and plants. Get the DIY instructions here at TrulySavvy.net.
Image via TrulySavvy.net
2. Disused Wheelbarrows
The wheelbarrow is your most useful backyard implement – until the wheel punctures or the steel erodes.
But that’s no reason to discard it on the nature strip. Here’s what you could do with it instead:
3. Old Tyres
The same goes for tyres. You could toss them in the tip. Or you could paint them, stack them, fill their interior with dirt, and create original, upcycled raised garden beds full of Australian natives.
Image via Instructables
Instructables has handy DIY instructions for making tyre garden beds.
4. Discarded Dressers
You invest a lot of money in a quality dressing table, which makes it a shame to throw away when excessive wear and tear finally claims it.
Turning the drawers into multiple garden containers is about as creative as a repurposing project can get! You can just upcycle the drawers, or go the whole hog, as Tracy from Hub Pages did.
Make sure your dresser is made of a solid wood – not plywood or an equally flimsy material that’s only going to erode quickly when exposed to the elements.
Image via Hub Pages
5. Wood Offcuts
If you like the natural appearance of lumber and are looking for a unique look, how about trying this natural twig-and-branch design?
Image via Instructables
It may be fiddly work, but we think it looks pretty amazing. Find out how to build this yourself at Instructables.
6. Burlap sacks
Burlap sacks are super cheap and make great organic-looking raised beds. They’re ideal for small gardens or balconies where you haven’t got much room to play with.
Just make sure you put the bags into place before you fill them with soil – they’re heavier than they look!
Image via The Coupon Project
Check out The Coupon Project for more tips and instructions.
This one is really left-of-centre, but it will certainly attract attention. The classic claw-fitted bathtub really adds a point of interest in your garden – and it works even better if the exterior is painted to match the blossoms you plan to grow.
Once again, just make sure you puncture the bottom with a few holes to enable appropriate drainage. Pick a spot in your garden and you’re good to go!
Image via Garden Betty
Head to the salvage yard and you’ll find an array of interesting pieces you could turn into unusual plant beds and containers.
You can find handy DIY bathtub garden bed instructions here on Garden Betty.
You can create some pretty nifty projects out of reused pallets (such as this marvellous pallet day bed). Making a raised garden bed is just one idea of many.
We love this idea by RaisedBeds.com. Simply lay the pallet sideways and fill the rows with good quality topsoil and compost. You can designate a different vegetable crop to each row, which makes for really easy harvesting!
Image via RaisedBeds.com
Ready to Renovate?
Here at Australian Outdoor Living we love to keep track of the most popular outdoor landscaping and lifestyle trends. Check out some of these other ideas:
- Lacking inspiration for your garden? Check out our comprehensive list of garden design resources
- Join the backyard veggie gardening trend
- Be inspired by these backyard day beds
- Incorporate these vertical gardens into your landscaping design
- Increase your backyard usage with one of our beautiful verandah designs
- Contact us today for a FREE measure and quote on any of our products